Deer and Doe - Passiflore Shirt Dress

by - 5/03/2020

To celebrate the release of Deer and Doe's newest sewing pattern, the Passiflore dress, I've collaborated with them to review it on my blog. You know I can't say no to a shirt dress or a wrap dress and this pattern is a great mix of the two.

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew it would be something I'd love to wear and it's different from anything I already own. The Passiflore pattern is a belted coat dress with a relaxed fit, with a double breasted style button detail. I've made option B, a knee length, long sleeve version of the dress.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

Before I get into the pattern, let's just take a moment to appreciate this truly stunning fabric! My favourite fabric to sew with and wear are rayon/viscose types. So when I saw that THIS beautiful print was rayon, I fell in love. I think it has a bit of a 60s vibe and I couldn't get over the colour palette. It's so unlike anything I own but I just thought it would make the loveliest shirt dress and would work well with my hair colour and skin tone. You can tell I may have leaned in to the 1960s secretary vibes I was feeling (and loving!).

Lets get into the pattern... Passiflore has quite a lot of pattern pieces which when printing the PDF at home I regretted pretty quickly (I'd recommend copy shop printing this one)! For the long sleeve version I was sewing, you'll also be making plackets so look out for those, coming from someone who almost binned the pattern piece. There's also a lot of small interfacing pieces you need to trace off of the main pattern so bare that in mind as it's a pretty time consuming step.

When I cut out my pattern and had finally sat down to sew, it wasn't long before I was scratching my head, as I hadn't noticed that the centre back yolk piece is cut out twice, one for a lining. By that point I had used up every inch of my fabric so had to raid my stash. Luckily I found some light weight, pale pink cotton fabric which ended up working well. Phew!

Thanks, I Made It! woven label from my shop
The sewing is reasonably straight forward if you have experience sewing collars. When I was in the zone, it all came together quite quickly. I wasn't looking forward to sewing the sleeve cuff plackets and when I got to that step I even considered abandoning them in favour of the short sleeves, but I knew it would be sacrificing the overall look I wanted for the dress so decided to buckle up and deal with it. Honestly sleeve cuff plackets aren't too difficult but I think they always look like they're going to be a headache. It actually all went quite smoothly and I was just being a drama queen!

Fit wise, I went by my bust measurement like I usually do. But because the dress is designed to have a relaxed fit, with simple princess seams and no buttons on the actual bust (for the dress version), so the fit for this is actually surprisingly simple. I could have sized down, but with the belt in place, I'm really happy with it.

I think the double breasted style button detail is an interesting design choice. Its something you're used to seeing on trench coats and I didn't know if I was going to like it for a dress. But now I've seen a few more versions on Instagram, it's grown on me. For mine, I raided my stash for buttons and as I'd chosen gold for my D rings on the belt, when I came across these vintage plastic and gold glitter buttons I knew it was meant to be. The perfect combo! As the fabric is so busy, they aren't too noticeable but when they do catch your eye it's a nice surprise.

In hindsight, I would have used a heavier weight interfacing for my belt selection as with just light weight interfacing, the belt feels more like a tie because it doesn't hold it's shape very well or sit flat against my body. Next time I sew a belt I'll be sure to use something sturdier. And yes, I did have to watch a tutorial on how to tie a D ring belt...

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Deer and Doe 'Passiflore' Dress pattern

Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics - Blue Bank Flora Rayon / Viscose from Catch and Release

Notions: 8 buttons

Sewing time: Best part of a day.

Modifications: None.

Fit: A little loose, but good.

Difficulty: Confident seamstresses.

Watch out for: Getting a neat collar and sleeve plackets. Lots of pressing!

Make Again?: Yes. I think this is a great pattern and an unusual mix of styles.

Overall, I'm really proud of this dress. I think it showcases a great range of sewing skills including collars, plackets, cuffs and button holes. For that reason I would recommend it for sewists with a little more experience. But the pattern's instructions are great and well illustrated if you do want to tackle it.

I think this pattern and fabric are a match made in sewing heaven. I love the 60s vibes and it feels like it could be a true vintage piece. It's so comfortable to wear and will be perfect for warmer months and but I can definitely see myself pairing this with black tights and a leather jacket for Autumn.

Thanks for reading!
Abi xo

Disclaimer: I was gifted the pattern and fabric in exchange for this blog post. But all opinions are my own.

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